Penny Woolcock – Filmmaker

Penny Woolcock is a director and writer working across
documentary, television fiction, feature films and opera. She has a
particular interest in life on the margins.

She researched and street-cast fictions about the marginal
economy in Leeds: Tina goes shopping and Tina Takes a Break.
Her feature films include The Principles of Lust, Mischief Night and
Exodus. Her feature film 1 Day about urban gang life was
researched and street cast in inner city Birmingham. This led to
One Mile Away, a documentary following a peace process
between the two big gangs in the city. She is the lead director on
three seasons of Ackley Bridge (2017/2018/2019) a prime time
Channel 4 drama series.

Her film opera, John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer was
followed by stage productions of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic and
Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers for the English National Opera, the
Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Los Angeles Opera
house. The Passion by JS Bach was staged in Manchester in 2016
performed by The Sixteen and Streetwise Opera who work with
homeless people.

Her documentaries include Going to the Dogs, The Wet House
and On The Streets. She has made two archive films From the
Sea to the Land Beyond and Out of the Rubble.
Her immersive installation Utopia showed at the Camden
Roundhouse in August 2015. Fantastic Cities was her major solo
show at Modern Art Oxford 2018/9.

Awards include the Michael Powell Award for best British film, a
Grammy for Doctor Atomic, the Liberty Human Rights Arts Award,
the Grierson Trustees Award, the Prix Italia, BAFTA nominations,
Banff Jury Prize, Two Royal Television Society awards for drama
and documentaries, Sheffield DocFest Inspiration Award, Women
in Film and Television Achievement of the Year and the Prix Italia.